Summer 2021 will be here in six weeks, which means there are only 29 school days left. With the new challenges and exhaustions this year has been filled with, students and teachers are more than ready for summer vacation. While this summer may look different than before, there are still plenty of fun things to do. Below is a list of my top ten enjoyable and safe activities to do this summer.
1. GO OUTSIDE
The outdoors are a great and safe place to exercise and play games. An added bonus of being outside is that social distancing is very easy to do. Luckily, Lincoln has wonderful parks and trails. If you are looking for a place to go walk, bike or run in peace, Rock Island Trail, Mopac Trail or Jamaica North Trail are my personal favorites. If you want a place to hang out for the day, Pioneers Park or Holmes Lake are gorgeous public parks with plenty of beautiful scenery!
2. HAVE A SOCIALLY DISTANCED PICNIC
Another fun activity to do safely in the pandemic is have a socially distanced picnic! Who doesn’t love food, blankets and a sense of community? Bring any food you want for yourself, and make the picnic whatever you want it to be. I highly recommend having a theme for the picnic!
3. READ A BOOK
Alright, where are my bookworms? Reading is such a neglected activity because people don’t have the time to sit down and commit to it. No time better than now to get around to that book you’ve always wanted to read.
4. FACETIME A FRIEND OR RELATIVE
It’s no secret that this pandemic has made people feel isolated and lonely. Check in with the people in your life! Make sure you are staying connected to your community and make sure to check on others who may feel lonely. It’s a wonderful opportunity to keep up relationships in the comfort of your own home.
5. HAVE A SELF-CARE DAY
Again, this pandemic has brought on new challenges and exhaustions. And look at you, you’ve been getting through it! You’ve been strong and resilient. Make sure that you are taking care of yourself. Self-care can look like exercising, it can look like face masks and a bath, it can look like journaling…it can look like whatever you need it to be. Whatever brings you joy or peace, go do it!
6. WATCH A NEW SHOW OR MOVIE
Cinema has the magical ability to transport us out of reality and into the exciting world of its characters. Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and more streaming services offer thousands of movies and shows that can help us get a break that we need. You can even include your friends in watching a new show or movie via Zoom or FaceTime.
7. PAINT, DRAW OR JUST CREATE
Even if you’re no good at painting like me, it’s a very relaxing thing to do. These activities are a great way to calm down and center yourself. One of the amazing things about these activities is that you can do them pretty much anywhere.
8. GO TO THE LAKE
Nebraska may not have an ocean, but we do have beaches…kind of. Maybe you can rent a kayak or paddle board and hit the Platte River. Maybe you can head to Branched Oak Lake for a field day with a few friends or your family.
9. GO TO THE ZOO
The Lincoln and Omaha Zoos are wonderful places to connect with animals. Plus, most exhibits are outdoors if you don’t feel comfortable going into a building.
10. DO A RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS
This year has been hard on everyone, so why not try to spread a bit of joy with your free time? Maybe you could ding-dong-ditch people with little goodie bags. Maybe you could start pen-paling people Maybe you could pay for someone behind you at a drive-thru. The possibilities are endless!
The pandemic may not be over by this summer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Kindness and simplicity never go out of style. As we close out the school year, take a look back on all that you’ve pushed through; that’s something to be proud of. This summer will be a wonderful break after a whirlwind of a year. Let the countdown begin!